05 September 2011

{On Our Last Legs} 2011 Hood to Coast Relay – Nuun-style: The Miniseries, Part 6

At this point in our story, the first two rotations had finished up... Major Miles received the slappy strap from me in Mist to finish the second go-round and set off on her Last Leg!

We saw her running and, though I was still somewhat out of it, we all whooped and hollered for her as we drove past. From the reports we heard, traffic was worsening and our trusty driver/coach, Casey, had the foresight and Kim/Capt. Phoenix had the experience to know that we mustn't dillydally...we needed to march ...or drive... onward to make our final major van transition at Exchange 30/31, where Gen. Confusion from Van 1 would slap the strap onto Private Chafe for the final time!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Here's what went down leading up to that moment...

While Major Miles was out there crushing her Last Leg, 
Capt. Cupcake eagerly waited for the hand-off...
She was either doing ballistic stretching or standing on her tippy-toes to see farther, hoping that Tricia had come into sight.

And she came...
hand-off complete!

And Tricia was DONE!!!!

And tallying her roadkillz :)

The first runner had completed her legs in the 2011 Hood to Coast Relay

Cupcake cranked it.

And grimaced in delight at being done with her part of the mission.

Cap'n Crunch was so stealth that she eluded the photographers,
but Capt. Obvious was obviously thrilled to be done and happy with her Stick :)

Underpants killed her BRUTAL leg and handed off to Confusion...

Who we saw and photographed as we were driving along to that final exchange...
did I mention that traffic was horrendous
It was like Rush Hour on the San Francisco I-80 commute.

Seriously, about the traffic... an additional 200 teams were entered in the race this year, it being the 30th anniversary and all. That made for an additional 400 vans on these little backcountry roads. The infrastructure was taxed to the max! The backups were massive, sometimes taking over an hour to drive 2 miles.

This photo of Casey could have been taken at several instances. I don't know if it was actually taken as he was navigating/negotiating the traffic or parking lot at the final Van 1/Van 2 transition, but it was such a mess there that it very well might have been! I am pretty sure he was laughing at the chaos and not perplexed by it... he had a remarkable ability to take everything in stride. Truly unflappable.

After parking, Pvt. Chafe, Lt. Love and I went on a reconnaissance mission... we could see the Honey Buckets, but where was the end of the line? Turns out the whole crowd was one big horseshoe-shaped line! And Chafe had to get ready to run...
Was getting in this line a good idea? Was this line the right line to choose?
 Well... it was the only line.
except for the cheater line off to the side...which we didn't see until we were done
She really had to go.

 So badly.
Thankfully, she made it in time and even got a Bucket with adequate paper!

So much better...
She was then ready to go :)

As we waited for her hand-off, we actually were debating leaving her there to stay ahead of the traffic. Her running leg wasn't very long or very challenging (that's what the piece of paper said, anyway) and we were worried we'd be late to the subsequent hand off.

We ended up milling around the van taking pictures instead... 

Would you believe I had no idea as to the extent of our supplies until this moment?
I knew about the rice cakes and the Nuun...
but all the other stuff... I was seriously clueless!

I discovered this storehouse while we were taking this picture...
left to right: Pvt. Chafe, me, Capt. Phoenix, Nightingale, Sgt. Style, Lt. Love

A kind competitor took this picture for us...
Pvt. Chafe, Casey, Capt. Phoenix, Sgt. Style, Lt. Love, me
and Nightingale in the foreground, flexing :)

Please note my attractive hosiery... many people are accustomed to seeing compression sleeves on runners, but it isn't often you find a runner sporting thigh-high, maternity compression stockings. I remembered how awesome they were when I was pregnant and decided that bringing them along was possibly a good idea... it was. I honestly had no idea how freakin' ridiculous I looked in them. Holy cow, teammates... y'all could've clued me in! Or maybe it was just the chuckle you needed every now and again... looking at me in those unbelievably dorky things :P Well, at least they did what I was hoping they'd do.

A recap of the race wouldn't be complete without this:
I have such fond memories of The Stick.
It made me feel good in ways I never knew it could.
I did share it with my teammates, but it was my special friend.

Typical in-the-van scene included...
my weird stockinged legs up in the air as much as possible,
Lt. Love with her cockeyed visor ;-) and...
a sleeping Nightingale... with coffee next to her.
She slept curled up like a kitten... it was the cutest thing :)

But we still had our Last Legs to run...

Suddenly, someone came running to the van... "she's gone! Let's go!" The hand-off from runner 6 to runner 7 had happened. We took off and made it to the next hand-off spot. There was some confusion in the chute as Capt. Phoenix was a little "occupied" right as Pvt. Chafe flew through the hand-off zone. Things were put to right quickly.

I missed all the excitement because I had realized that I needed some food besides gluten-free protein bars and almonds, cashews, and chocolate chips. You might have noticed that no mention has been made in all 6 parts of this miniseries of real food. That's because we didn't do that... real food is for pussies and we're hardcore Nuun Platuuners. I had about 3-4 hours until I would be embarking on my Last Leg. I had a can of tuna in my bag and a can opener. I had been putting off this 'meal' because we spent so much time in the van... opening a can of tuna in a van would be just wrong. But the moment had arrived. I grabbed my can and opener and high-tailed it to the edge of the parking lot. Hunkered over a garbage can, I cranked that puppy open and scarfed it down like Oliver Twist. Please, sir, may I have some more? But there was no time...
Capt. Phoenix was done! 

We piled back into the van. Fortunately, I had double-plastic-bagged my can opener.

Watching Nightingale run this next leg was a powerful and inspiring experience. She is super speedy. We hadn't really had the opportunity to watch her in action because her first leg was on a trail with no real access and her second was in the darkest hours of the morning on a dusty gravel road. Here we got to see her do what she does... run her little heart out! 

It was a long leg and in the sun. We were able to stop and give her water and cheer her on as she completed something like 33 roadkillz!
Lt. Love handed her a water bottle... she didn't break stride at all.

She drank from a water bottle handed to her by Capt. Phoenix a little later... didn't break stride at all.
She was like a machine... mowing down the competition and tearing up the asphalt. Just WOW.

I am so bummed I didn't get any pics of Lt. Love rockin slammin jammin on her Last Leg. 
She tackled it with the resolve and determination of a champion. We knew at this point that we were ahead of our stiffest competition, and she was ready, willing and able to lay it all on the line to hang on to our lead. 

She had maintained it when she passed off to Sgt. Style.
This Last Leg for Sgt. Style was likely the most difficult leg of the entire race. 
8 miles. 
Hills that kill. 
Hot sun in the heat of the day. 
And she crushed it.
It hurt.
It hurt more than any of us really knew.
Except Coach Casey knew. And he acted
He jumped out and ran the last 2 miles with her.
T has the heart and drive of a true winner.
And Casey has the intuition and generosity of the coach of true winners :)

Meanwhile, these three ladies were all smiles.
They had finished their running parts and were now the most awesome cheerleaders ever :)

Once we dropped Casey with Sgt. Style, we raced ahead to the absolute final transition point... 
where 35 meets 36...
where the anchor gets the slappy strap and heads for home.

My turn.

I was kind of in a daze.
It was really going to happen.
I was going to run up and over a hill and down to the beach...
to the finish line.

I kind of had a race plan. I think I went pee. I filled my handheld water bottle. I pinned on my number and attached the finish chip to my shoe. Oh, and I took off my thigh-high, maternity compression stockings.

I was ready.

I look kind of scared.

The first five parts of this miniseries and the events leading up to this amazing adventure made possible by Nuun, go to the tabbed page up top or click here.


  1. What a bunch of god damn rock stars!

  2. I freaking love this post. And I especially love that last photo! I just can not get over the experience we shared. J asked if I was interested in running HTC again next year, and I wanted to hit him and say, "duh. which part of this was the best thing I've ever done did you not understand?"

  3. You look awesome and strong! I love reading your story. It makes me want to run a relay.

  4. LOVE this post, its been nice catching up with what was going on in van 2

  5. Aw! I miss us so freaking bad! YOu did such a fab job of mapping out our legs and the quirkiness of our van.

    Love you!!! And the butt rolling pic says it all! ;)

  6. As long as the stick and the swagina didn't meet up your safe! Enjoying reading your ranting recaps here:)

  7. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do once the miniseries is over...I may have withdrawls! Seriously! :)

    Love reading all the details, you are going to go back and read your blog for years to come and I'm certain a huge smile will form each and every time!!!

  8. Loved this part of the mini-series. You had me chuckling out loud a couple of times. I really love getting a different perspective on the race from my teammates.

    We do ROCK, don't we?

    love, Gen. Confusion

  9. I am so out of touch. I have been out of bloggy land, and clearly out of touch with you. Seems like you are doing amazing things, things I will never do! I could use your wisdome, oh mama of so many as how you even squeak in a thirty minute workout. I am still adjusting to life with three, and feeling as if I am drowning every day. I miss our mama's night out group, it seems to have lost steam :(

    Anyways, congrats on all of your accomplishments, your running and amazing blog following, you have far FAR surpassed me.

  10. So much fun to read all about this! Loving all the crazy pictures too...makes me look forward to the next relay! (even though it won't be till probably, oh, May.....)

  11. My goodness missy, could you be any more thorough! I feel like I was there witnessing the entire thing. Witnessing it from the safety of the van where I didn't have to exert myself, and curled up in the seats eating real food...oh yes, there was real food, but I was eating it, because sitting there cheering you guys on was exhausting and burning up all my calories! Great job Team Nuun!

  12. You are my hero's! I'm soo motivated to go out for a run now but too lazy to execute :) I'll just live vicariously through you!


we *heart* comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...